Orange, SFR win France's last 3G spectrum

Dylan Bushell-Embling
20 May 2010

Orange and SFR have snapped up the last of France's 3G spectrum, leaving Iliad's Free Mobile in the cold.

All three had been vying for two blocks of spectrum, one of 5MHz, and one of an awkward-to-use 4.8MHz.

SFR bought the 5MHz block for €300 million ($371.8 million), while Orange France got the 4.8MHz block for €282.1 million.

The base price of each block was set at €120 million.

Arcep selected the winners based on the amount of their bids, as well as on their commitment to hosting MVNOs.

Orange and SFR made a commitment to "grant all reasonable demands for access to their network," and not to impede the goal of achieving competition in the wholesale market.”

But neither increased their technical or financial commitment, which would have improved their standing while selecting a winner.

SFR now holds 19.8MHz of spectrum on the 2.1GHz band, with Orange holding 19.6MHz, Bouygues 14.8MHz and Free Mobile 5MHz.

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